New Car Shortages Mean Customers May Have to Wait - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

New Car Shortages Mean Customers May Have to Wait

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by Adam Ghassemi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite recent plant expansions by local auto manufacturers and record new car sales in August, dealers said customers may have to wait for new cars to become available.

Selling cars during the Great Recession was a nightmare. Local dealers told NewsChannel 5 as the economy has shown signs of recovery; they're dealing with new vehicle shortages.

The General Sales Manager at Crown Ford, Marty Horn, said the Ford Fusion is a hot item. He said the dealership only had four Fusions on the lot. They would normally have rows of the cars.

The Fusion has not been the problem. In the past, Ford only assembled the sedans in Mexico. Once a new American plant comes fully online, Horn said there was an 8 to 10 week wait for new vehicles.

Horn said this was the first time they had to wait for the vehicles at the dealership.

"Two years ago we sold more Fusions than anybody in the state of Tennessee - but we had them and we could get them, and they were on the lot and it was all the time. It's just not like that anymore," said Horn.

Ford was not the only automaker facing the issue. Many were having trouble keeping up with customer demand as people who postponed making big purchases now said they couldn't wait any longer.

"Now the cars on the road are the oldest they've been since we've been keeping the statistic. The average car is 11.4 years old. So this isn't about want, it's about need," said CBS News Financial and Economic Analyst Mellody Hobson.

Sales were up 23 percent in August for Toyota. Nissan also sold more cars last month, up 22 percent – better than any August in company history.

According to Horn, cross-country dealer transfers have become the only way to do business in some cases. His staff has started looking nationwide if customers want specific vehicles that factories haven't produced fast enough.

Nationally, automakers are expected to add 35,000 jobs in 2013 to keep up with demand.

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